We asked Ptera (as in priority terabit – the “p” is not silent!), Vice President Kevin Smith to answer five questions about all things fiber. For two decades, Ptera has been providing “Fixed Wireless” internet to the Inland Northwest. Kevin has been with Ptera for four and half years, his uncle started the company 20 years ago.
VETRO is proud to support Kevin and his team as they work to bring better broadband to communities in the Pacific Northwest. So let’s get to it!
Five Questions with Ptera
1. When did Ptera get into fiber?
We got into fiber about twenty years ago by providing FTTH in an area where we initially provided fixed wireless service in a mountainous area of Washington state. It is now one of the oldest fiber neighborhoods in the area.
Three years ago we really turned our focus to fiber. We discovered that the city of Cheney had some dark fiber that was built out but wasn’t being used. Two of the top problems they had in Cheney were access to water and the internet, they were a very underserved community. We signed a contract with them where we used their backbone fiber.
Now, fiber has become our number one focus and is our largest growth area.
2. So, what’s going on with Ptera — any news, milestones, achievements – what’s coming up next?
As the digital equity broadband funding floods the country, we are working with broadband action teams, nonprofits and municipalities to be part of the planning, organization and implementation of fiber helping to bridge the gap.
Fiber to the premise in Cheney (500 homes connected just this year!) is finished and we will begin building fiber to the premise in Medical Lake. With the continued growth in Cheney and starting in Medical Lake, we hope to double our fiber customers in 2023.
3. What plans/projects did you have in motion when you started shopping for fiber management software?
My uncle who started Ptera met VETRO team members at Wispapalooza – an industry event, about five years ago. At the time, Ptera’s fiber management was very archaic, they were basically hand drawings of our fiber network. VETRO showed us how they could take his hand drawings and map out all the fiber and the buffer connections so they could see where our fiber was at digitally. We now know the availability of our fiber in all areas.
4. Why did you choose VETRO?
5. How do you use VETRO FiberMap?
We used VETRO in designing and planning Cheney and Medical Lake and used VETRO to give a proposal to Spokane county to provide fiber to the premise to several towns in South Spokane.
One of our favorite features of VETRO is Z-Manager where people in our community can enter their address and immediately see if service is available in their area. It also lets us have real intel on where it might be a smart place to start expanding next. Having that automation is priceless.
About VETRO, Inc.
VETRO builds software that makes it radically simpler and faster for broadband providers to plan, design, deploy, and operate their fiber optic networks. Our map-based SaaS platform is easier to use and more powerful than traditional tools, and enables network owners, operators and sponsors to benefit from a modern, integrated, and connected digital hub for their physical network assets. We deliver Internet Infrastructure Intelligence.